The Harvey Penick Golf Campus is a PGA TOUR-designed 112-acre public facility that features a par 30, 9-hole course w/ three par fours and six par threes. The course is fun for beginners and challenging for accomplished players. We have four sets of tees to accommodate all players.
The 9-hole course is an easy two-mile walk and is usually played in 1½ hours. The fairways and greens are always in great shape and are among the best available on a public course. The course lies in a wooded valley and crosses Walnut Creek three times. The course is flat except for the hill to/from the valley. The campus is built on property leased from our partner, the East Communities YMCA.
In Good Company
The campus has one of the best public practice facilities in the central Texas with a driving range, two practice greens, two practice bunkers, and a 3-hole short course. The short course is available at no extra charge to anyone who gets a large bucket of range balls or plays the 9-hole course.
Open Monday through Sunday, 7:00 AM until dusk, the Harvey Penick Golf Course and the First Tee of Greater Austin depend on financial support from the community to continue their programs, and encourages personal and corporate sponsorships to ensure our success.
The campus hosts a dozen First Tee classes, all UT golf classes, the Del Valle golf team, the Concordia University golf team, the Foundation Tour, STPGA Junior events, EWGA league events, and many others.
The First Tee of Greater Austin
The First Tee of Greater Austin offers a program of life skills and mentoring whose mission is to impact the lives of youth by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.
Last year TFTGA served over 1,300 youth representing 250 different schools and organizations in the Austin area, and grew from 11 site-based programs to 20. Our goal is to serve over 3,500 youth this year.
Harvey Penick Golf Campus Hole-By-Hole Guide
Hole #1, Par 4: 384 yards – Courtesy
The premium is on accuracy for this dogleg left Par 4. The fairway is only 25 yards wide and hosts a lateral water hazard on the left hand side, and Out of Bounds guards the right side. From the black tee yardage stone, it is 265 yards to the small fairway bunker on the left hand side of the fairway. Players may choose to layup short of the bunker or try to hit it past the bunker. The ideal tee shot is 250 yards, which will leave you a relatively flat lie and approximately 130 yards to the center of the green. The green is 30 yards deep and slopes from back to front, allowing the player to hit more club as the slope will help keep the ball from rolling over the green.
Tip – Play to the center of the fairway, short of the bunker, and the center of the green. Everyone enjoys playing with someone who is courteous.
Hole #2, Par 3: 192 – Confidence
This is a fairly long Par 3, over Walnut Creek. The hole has a shallow green, measuring only 24 yards deep. There’s plenty of room, 20 yards from Walnut Creek to the front edge of the green. Out of bounds lurks right and beyond the green. There is more bailout room to the left of the green then the right.
Tip – Make sure you are confident with your club selection and committed to your swing, before hitting your shot. Look at the trees beyond the green, the tee box is protected from the wind and can fool even the best players.
Hole #3, Par 3: 185 yards – Respect
This Par 3 has one of the largest greens on the golf course measuring 42 yards deep. The green slopes from back to front, without any bunkers or trouble around the green, this is a good birdie hole if you make the right club selection.
Tip – Respect the hole location. If the hole location is front left, land your shot on the front edge of the green. If it’s back right the ball must carry 10 additional yards from the center of the green.
Hole #4, Par 3: 165 yards – Honesty
The slightly elevated green is turtle-backed and measures only 26 yards deep, but is 34 yards wide. Bunkers guard the front left and back right of the green. Distance control is the key to this hole, as shots that carry too far will roll off the back side of the green.
Tip – Be honest with yourself and play the club that you know will carry the ball to the front of the green for a front or center hole location. If the hole location is back, land the ball in the middle of the green and it will take the slope back to the hole.
Hole #5, Par 3: 162 yards – Integrity
This Par 3 features a left to right hourglass shaped, elevated green that measures 38 yards in depth. Bunkers guard the front and right side, Out of Bounds looms if your shot goes long. This hole is a risk-reward challenge.
Tip – The prevailing wind is behind the golfer. The shot of integrity on this hole is to play for the center of the green especially when the hole location is back right. It’s too small of a landing area for most of us.
Hole #6, Par 4: 394 yards – Judgment
Another narrow fairway, 25 yards wide with trouble on both sides, lateral water hazard left, Out of Bounds right and Walnut Creek which runs through the middle of the fairway. To score par or better, a player really needs to have good judgment. It is 290 yards from the black tee yardage stone to the hazard running across the fairway. The ideal tee shot is one hit between 250 and 275 yards long, leaving you with a second shot between 150 and 125 yards to the green. The green is 42 yards in depth and has a dip in the center that is 15 yards wide. This is a target hole with the premium on direction and distance control.
Tip – The player that uses sound judgment hitting the fairway, taking Walnut Creek out of play, and playing to the portion of the green where the hole is located, can make a good score on this hole.
Hole #7, Par 4: 330 – Perseverance
The signature hole of the Harvey Penick Golf Campus features a large Pecan “Harvey’s Tree,” which splits the fairway in two. The player has more room to the left of the tree. The best tee shots either fade around the left side of the tree or land just left of the trunk. It is 180 yards from the black tee yardage stone to the 150 yard marker located just under “Harvey’s Tree,” and 280 yards to Walnut Creek. Ideally you would like to hit a shot between 180 and 200, leaving you a short shot to another turtle back green protected by two small bunkers in front.
Tip – Holes 5 and 6 are very tough and if a player comes to number 7 frustrated or pressing to make up shots and plays overly aggressive the bogeyman is sure to prevail. Play smart and preserve through the toughest part of the golf course.
Hole #8, Par 3: 140 yards – Responsibility
Number 8 is the shortest Par 3 from the black tees. The green is elevated and 35 yards deep. This makes for some fun hole locations. Bunkers protect the left side of the green. A front hole location is the most challenging because the green slopes from left to right and the front portion of the green is a mere 16 yards wide. Beyond the bunkers the green is 35 yards wide.
Tip – Pay attention to the hole location and watch the flag for wind direction. The tee box is lower than the green and is protected by trees on all sides, thus the player cannot feel the wind. This is an easy birdie with the right club selection.
Hole #9, Par 3: 175 yards – Sportsmanship
The final hole has a links golf course look with long grasses bordering all sides of the hole. The lone bunker on the right side of the green catches a lot of balls as most players fail to recognize that the hole actually is uphill. The green is 32 yards deep and slopes primarily from left to right. Ample room exists around the green, especially to the right.
Tip – Once you have your yardage calculated, hit the club that will carry that yardage. Playing to the center of the green will take the bunker out of play and assure a reasonable birdie putt. Don’t forget to shake the hand of your fellow-competitor and partner, thank them for the round and plan on coming back to the Harvey Penick Golf Campus tomorrow.